If you’re part of the 76% of job seekers and employees who report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers, you may be wondering: how do I find a diverse company?
It can be difficult to sift through the startup and tech companies that say diversity and inclusion are important but don't really walk the walk. For example, Google announced in 2015 that they would invest $150 million to increase diversity at the company, but in the years since, has more than doubled its workforce and made minimal progress toward a more representative one: only 3.7% of Google’s employees are Black.
Understanding how a company walks the walk when it comes to D&I initiatives can often happen in an interview — if you ask the right questions about DEI and culture.
But to make things a little easier on the research end, we’ve compiled a list of companies that are great for diversity and inclusion. These companies have a diverse workforce, are led by underrepresented people in tech, or have clear, actionable goals toward improved diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at their organization.
And it’s important to note when talking about diversity, it goes beyond race and gender. Diversity isn't always something you can see. Sexual orientation, age, ability, and socioeconomic background are just a few other examples of diversity.
So check out these great companies for diversity and inclusion to get a sense of how they’re building better places to work.
Best Companies for Diversity and Inclusion: Diverse Founders
BrandXR is a no-code Augmented Reality platform and award-winning XR creative studio. One of 8 startups selected, BrandXR is part of Morgan Stanley's 7th cohort in the Multicultural Innovation Lab, which supports diverse founders. Moody Mattan and Kunal Patel — BrandXR's founders from underrepresented backgrounds (Middle Eastern and South Asian) — are building a welcoming workplace with this philosophy: “Augment reality — not yourself.” BrandXR is on a mission to make augmented reality accessible for all, not just the 1% of the world population that knows how to code. They know that igniting innovation and opportunity at every stage requires a culture that is respectful and inclusive. To create a culture where you can have the space you need to grow, BrandXR has enacted the following programs:
Membership in Morgan Stanley’s Multicultural Innovation Lab
Membership in local tech-focused minority groups
Mental health days
Accommodations based on your abilities, however they may change
Established plan for transitioning
Supplier diversity initiatives
Investing in local DEI non-profits
Investing in, and hosting, Game Jams that increase access to funding and jobs in the tech world
The company also recognizes that when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion the work is never done. That is why they have appointed an on-staff DEI lead to continue these efforts. BrandXR is hiring remotely.
Founded in Detroit, ToDoolie is an online marketplace that connects young people who need work on a flexible schedule to clients who need work done around the house. Diversity is seen throughout the company, including leadership: ToDoolie’s co-founders are Latinx, the VP of Operations is from Ireland and the VP of Tech is African-American. ToDoolie’s leaders have been dedicated to hiring people outside of the typical tech profile (middle-class, white American). ToDoolie is on a mission to help students find work, regardless of their background, and this dedication to making work accessible to everyone is seen in the makeup and hiring practices. ToDoolie's founders are also investing inclusion, valuing transparency and making sure every employee is on equal footing.
A remote startup that was founded in early 2020, Meroxa is a real-time data platform as a service that gives data teams the data orchestration tools they need to build real-time streaming infrastructure in minutes. Co-founders DeVaris Brown (CEO) and Ali Hamidi (CTO) are part of underrepresented communities in tech and are building a company that holds diversity and inclusion as a central part of its corporate DNA. Here’s how that is lived out today: 90% of Meroxa's executive leadership identifies as a person from an underrepresented community; 42% of the company identifies as non-male; 35% identifies as Black or African-American; and 21% of employees are based internationally. This startup is very intentional about hiring people in marginalized communities to build great tools that empower everyone to be a data engineer.
Based in the Detroit area, Qodex is a software startup that provides web-based tools and solutions to help people accomplish tasks more efficiently and effectively. Racial and gender diversity are visible at the company, not only in its leadership (the company was co-founded by a Black woman) but also across the teams. In addition, the company has diversity in age, religion, sexual orientation, and thought. “I’ve been at companies where everyone looks the same and what ends up happening is that you hire more people who look the same. There’s an identity there,” Ashley said. “We do group interviews here, so when candidates come onto the Zoom interview and see a group of diverse people, it helps show them our own diversity and that we’re able to make authentic connections with people who aren’t exactly like us.”
Hush is the always-on, always-learning comprehensive service that makes digital privacy as attainable as an Uber. Founded by Black entrepreneur Mykolas Rambus, Hush values diversity, equality, and inclusion as central to succeed in encouraging a world where the internet unlocks human potential instead of preying on it. Hush’s mission to build intuitive and effective digital privacy services that proactively protect people’s wellbeing requires varied employee perspectives to solve the complex problems of an ever-changing and diverse world. Hush encourages transparency with its customers, employees, and stakeholders. They also encourage candor from their partners of all backgrounds so that they can grow to be an increasingly inclusive and equitable company in all of their business practices.
BallotReady is a Chicago tech company that provides personalized, nonpartisan information to voters in all 50 states. Female led and founded (Alex Niemczewski and Aviva Rosman), BallotReady understands that DEI is work, and a work priority. They know that true commitment to equity means actively minimizing harm and how it important it is to support the psychological and emotional wellness of their employees in order to grow and thrive as a successful business. While living out DEI commitments is, and will always be, a process of continuous improvement, BallotReady’s many existing efforts to live out their DEI principles include, but are not limited to:
Targeted Recruitment of potential hires from marginalized communities.
Skill-Based Hiring to help identify the most capable candidates for the job; they want to know if you have the skills to succeed in a role, not your level of educational attainment, employment history, or other factors.
Blinded Scoring of Hiring Tasks to mitigate unconscious biases as staff evaluate applicants’ skills.
Bias-Aware Interviewer Training to help staff conduct their most equitable assessment of candidates (e.g., making sure assessments are grounded in specific evidence offered by an applicant).
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) offering staff regular, confidential space and support alongside others who share identity. Each ERG has an annual budget and receives support from the Director of People in executing their initiatives. Current ERGs are the BIPOC ERG, the Women’s ERG, and the LGBTQ+ ERG.
Regular Internal Professional Development including multiple, optional touchpoints for staff each month on topics such as cultural heritage days/months (i.e., National Disability Employment Awareness Month), white supremacy culture in the workplace, and more.
In 2022, BallotReady is focused on mapping concrete DEI responsibilities and goals for everyone on staff, creating greater transparency and equity in compensation by partnering with Payscale, and increasing transparency through new practices and tools, especially in relation to their senior leadership and decision-making.
7. Workit Health
Co-founded and led by two top female founders, Lisa McLaughlin and Robin McIntosh, Workit Health is an Ann Arbor-based telehealth company transforming addiction recovery. Their mission to make it easier than ever to receive quality care has diversity and inclusion at the heart of it, and the company also operates with that same DEIB mindset. For example, the Workit Health team uses the DEI.AI Chrome extension to make sure the emails they send out use inclusive language.
Remotion is a virtual office that helps hybrid-remote teams connect like everyone's together. Remotion creates shared presence by putting your teammates on your desktop and giving you a glimpse of their activity. Teams using Remotion feel more socially connected because they have more non-work conversations and collaborate more seamlessly. The company was founded by leaders from underrepresented backgrounds, and the majority of the team comes from diverse backgrounds, too. The team of 12 is internationally distributed and from a wide array of backgrounds, but they're always looking to improve and build the most diverse team possible.
In addition to practicing the Rooney Rule and working to build a diverse pipeline, Remotion also uses a practice they call objective-based recruiting. In a nutshell, that means they lead with a focus on business objectives, then collaborate with candidates to flex our interview process in a way that allows them to highlight their diverse strengths (vs. screen for their weaknesses). The team has found this collaborative approach more effectively speaks to candidates, and helps make sure they don't miss out on talented people with non-cookie cutter backgrounds. As part of Remotion's mission to make remote work feel more connected, they really believe that everyone should live and work on their own terms
Best Companies for Diversity and Inclusion: D&I Initiatives
1. General Motors
General Motors is a large, global tech company that holds diversity, equity and inclusion as its north star. GM is on a mission to be the most inclusive company in the world — its legacy of taking first steps in DEI include being the 1st Fortune 500 company to have an African American director on its Board (1971), being the 1st automaker to run an LGBTQ-specific ad (1995), electing the 1st female CEO in the auto industry (2014) and being the 1st auto company to have both a female CEO and CFO (2018).
Diversity and inclusion at GM isn’t just seen in leadership. It’s an integral part of GM’s culture, and “be inclusive” is foundational to how the GM team behaves. Here are a few other core values at GM that help drive inclusion and belonging:
One Team: collaborate cross-functionally to achieve enterprise-wide results.
It’s On Me: take accountability for safety and our own actions, behaviors and results.
Win With Integrity: have a relentless desire to win and do it with integrity.
Additionally, GM’s employee resource groups play a key role in fostering an inclusive work environment. A few examples include: GM Able, GM Latino Network, GM Plus, GM Women, Native American Cultural Network and more. These groups provide a forum for employees to share common concerns and experiences, gain professional development support, engage in local communities and help attract diverse talent.
2. Rocket Companies®
Rocket Companies is a Detroit-founded fintech company revolutionizing the lending industry. Rocket team members take diversity, equity and inclusion very seriously. They understand that diverse opinions and people need to be involved every step of the way to build the best solutions for the future. Rocket’s culture is open to change, listening and learning, and finding new and better ways. They recognize areas of opportunity and are ready to do whatever it takes to be better. Putting their money where their mouth is, Rocket is taking measurable and demonstrable actions to build a more diverse workplace. Here are a couple highlights from the company’s full action plan:
Recruiting — intentionally enhancing ability to attract, engage and hire diverse talent through data, recruitment marketing and training.
Team Member Engagement — providing increased opportunities and awareness to engage team members and provide a space to express concerns, thoughts, feelings and learn about equity and inclusion.
Leadership Development — activating diverse leadership pipelines and leadership readiness while providing clear accountability measurables around inclusive leadership behaviors and internal leadership opportunities and training.
They also have many Team Member Resource Networks, groups that are devoted to fostering an inclusive environment for all. Mobility and transit advocates, remote experience, LGBTQ+ experience and allyship, are just a few examples of the groups at Rocket Companies.
3. Signal Advisors
Signal Advisors is a Detroit-founded, remote-first software startup helping financial advisors become more successful and scale their business in ways that were not previously possible. They are committed to building a diverse team and an equitable, inclusive work environment by embedding DEIB into the chainmail of their company and culture. Signal’s core value of always being “obsessed with finding a better way” has created a culture that is open to learning from failures, experimenting, exploring, and moving forward. Signal has created a DEIB committee that helps shepherd ideas about DEIB and communicate priorities to the leadership team. While the team recognizes that there’s always more work to do, they’re very intentional about the recruiting process. For Signal, it’s all about bringing people together with diverse backgrounds to represent the people they aim to serve and create a better business — and workplace.
KLA is a global tech company that helps create semiconductors for the technological devices that transform and shape our current lives. The company is dedicated to increasing its diversity and having a culture of inclusion. At their new campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan, KLA’s CEO challenged the team to make this office as diverse as possible. As a result, already 57% of site leadership roles (director and above) are held by women, and 30% representation of women overall at the Ann Arbor site.
KLA is currently hiring at an unprecedented pace, as the demand for semiconductors continues to grow. As they hire, they’re working to make the pipeline for new talent as diverse as possible. They sponsor conferences and jobs fairs for groups like Society of Women Engineers (SWE), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Lesbians Who Tech, and many others. They also work to create partnerships with diverse groups on college campuses and look for ways they can engage in the community to prepare future talent to pursue careers in STEM.
To help foster an inclusive work environment, KLA offers mentorship, celebration of heritage months and cultural events, education and awareness, and engagement in the community. KLA also has many Employee Resource Groups that help people come together, be heard and valued. Current ERGs include:
WISE (Women in STEM, Empowered) – Global ERG that supports women at KLA and fosters an inclusive environment that benefits all.
Mosaic Michigan – Focused on inclusion for all demographics in support of the vision to make KLA’s Ann Arbor office as inclusive and diverse as possible from the beginning.
Konexión – U.S.-based ERG that fosters an inclusive community, where employees interact and innovate together, through cultural sharing and understanding of the diversity of the Latinx community.
BELIEVE (Black Employees Leading Inclusion, Excellence, Values, and Education) – U.S.-based ERG that progresses KLA's inclusion and diversity goals through support, recruitment and advancement of Black talent, while also promoting cultural awareness, understanding and allyship of the Black community.
PRISM (where Pride, Respect, and Solidarity Meet) – Global organization that amplifies KLA’s commitment to equality and inclusion by promoting a safe and open working environment for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies.
Hologram’s cellular platform designed for the Internet of Things enables you to connect and manage any device, anywhere in the world. This Chicago-founded remote startup is a great company for diversity, equity and inclusion. Hologram is deliberate about embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and it’s incorporated into every aspect of their work — from the way they hire to daily operating procedures.
Hologram has two philosophies that drive the way they hire: “Hire Different vs Similar" and "Hire for Cultural Contribution, not Culture Fit.” Hiring teams are asked to look past things they might have in common with candidates (like shared hobbies or background) and instead focus on the differences that could help our team broaden its perspectives, skills and impact. They’ve also partnered with the well-known DEI consulting firm Paradigm to create an equitable hiring playbook to guide growth across the company, and employ a structured interview process to help quantify and evaluate a candidate’s abilities and to avoid bias at all stages of the hiring process. They also build relationships with different kinds of communities to find candidates who can bring new perspectives to the team.
And they are seeing results. At Hologram, 46% of full-time employees are women and 50% of executives are women.
Veeva Systems is a leader in cloud-based business solutions for the global life sciences industry. With a large global workforce, Veeva is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and growing a diverse team. They recognize that diversity comes in a variety of forms: gender, race, ethnicity, religion, politics, sexual orientation, age, life experience, and more. The team at Veeva embraces diversity as it brings forth new ideas that fuel innovation — and makes it a fun place to work.
As a Public Benefit Corporation, Veeva remains a for-profit corporation, but is legally obligated to consider the needs of multiple stakeholders, including shareholders, customers and employees. Additionally, Veeva puts employees directly in its core values: Do the Right Thing, Customer Success, Employee Success, and Speed. Veeva fosters a culture of inclusion so that everyone feels comfortable being their true selves and can do their best work, and has four strong employee-led Veeva Diversity Communities. These communities are actively involved in Veeva's efforts to grow a diverse workforce, raise awareness of social issues and celebrate the diverse cultures and backgrounds that make up their global team. The communities include: Veeva Black Community, Veeva Women’s Community, Veeva Pride Community, and Veeva Asian Community.
“Diversity and inclusion are very much a part of Veeva's DNA,” said Eric (Seb) Seburyamo, Chief Diversity Officer at Veeva. “Our core values are all deeply rooted within our commitment to fostering a culture of inclusion and equity as we continue to grow our global teams.”
StockX Women's Day Brunch 2020
A Detroit unicorn on the path to IPO, StockX walks the walk when it comes to diversity and inclusion. It’s more than an initiative, and it’s definitely not a check-the-box program at StockX — it’s their way of life. StockX’s commitment to DEI, which starts with their CEO, reaches every corner of the organization and beyond.
StockX is committed to becoming a workplace of choice for all by:
Attracting, engaging and hiring diverse talent
Providing increased opportunities and awareness to make StockX a rewarding workplace where team members can have a fulfilling, lasting career.
Advance frontline team members by investing in the development, recognition, and internal opportunities for frontline team members.
Community engagement and philanthropy
Ensuring the presence of a diverse and inclusive marketplace that reflects current culture worldwide.
As one of the fastest growing tech startups in Ohio, Olive is committed to building a more diverse and inclusive workforce — it’s a key part of their mission to make healthcare more human. In order to do this, Olive executives are committed to embracing full transparency and accountability. They’ve established baseline metrics to be able to make data-driven comparisons and set goals, which also drive the overall business strategy. Olive has also adjusted job descriptions to be more inclusive and they invite candidates from underrepresented backgrounds to apply, even if they don’t check all the boxes. The company has also made long-term investments to support campus programs and partnerships that are designed to improve diversity in engineering. In May of this year, Olive will welcome its first class of interns. “The plan is to build a pipeline from internship to full-time roles,” said Chief People Officer Brian Rutkowski.
Headquartered in Chicago, HomeX is a remote startup making home maintenance less complicated for homeowners with their Remote Assist solution. As HomeX continues to grow, the company has prioritized diversity, equity and inclusion throughout all areas of its business. The HomeX hiring team makes a conscious effort to leverage every job posting as a way of fostering diversity at HomeX. As a part of its recruiting process, HomeX prioritizes diversity and inclusion questions within every hiring brief, asking internally, "what type of voice could and should be added to the team to create a more diverse group perspective?" This practice has helped HomeX create a workforce where 47% of employees come from underrepresented demographics.
Outside of hiring practices, HomeX has also created several diversity-focused Employee Resource Groups that help build an inclusive environment through a more 360, community-based approach. Today, the majority of employees at HomeX belong to an Employee Resource Group.
Additionally, every employee at HomeX participates in an annual pay equity review to ensure that they are compensated based on their job level and performance. HomeX also leverages a data-based compensation philosophy to ensure they pay fairly and consistently, based on job level, function and country.
DocNetwork, an Ann Arbor software company that provides a way for camps and schools to have better electronic health records, is currently into their second year of DEI strategic growth. The first year of projects involved a reexamination of their hiring practices and a process of building in new metrics that would allow the company to track which job boards are delivering diverse applicants so they can allocate resources wisely. The team also crafted an inclusivity statement which can be found at the base of all their job descriptions, and they meet monthly for training and topical conversations. This year DocNetwork is focused on three priorities: 1) creating avenues for team members to add pronouns to their account signatures, 2) investing in external training resources to grow in knowledge and inclusion skills, and 3) enhancing their website to further promote and communicate their DEI values and opportunities.
Guideline is on a mission to help everyone arrive at a secure retirement. They’ve been at it sine 2015, using technology to disrupt an often inaccessible industry. Guideline has rapidly grown over the years, but it’s just the beginning. To make an even bigger impact, they’re looking for people with different skill sets, perspectives and backgrounds. Deeply committed to doing that, Guideline has established a DEI Taskforce to create a safe and welcoming culture that empowers people from historically marginalized communities — both at their company and in the communities they serve.
Guideline has also created a company culture that is collaborative and approachable, eager to grow, learn and solve problems. But there are two qualities in particular that they really look for in the people who work there: compassion and passion. Compassion for coworkers, partners, clients and their employees. Passion to do right by all of them, even if it’s harder. Leadership doesn’t micromanage; everyone operates on trust, empowerment and support to drive your success.
Ann Arbor startup SkySpecs offers purpose-built software and services for renewable energy asset management. Their team of 180 people is spread out around the world with offices in 5 different countries. DEI means something different to each of the regions, and SkySpecs' recently formed DEI committee is working hard to bridge gaps and increase transparency.
This DEI employee resource group, as well as SkySpecs’ Social Committee ERG are both focused on bringing employees together in our increasingly virtual world. In addition to the ERGs, SkySpecs also invests in attending events and supporting community groups that share their values for increased accessibility to the Tech Industry. A few examples of this include mock interviews for Black In Tech, and guest speaking at different colleges, universities, and bootcamps.
13. Thyme Care
Thyme Care is a remote-first oncology digital health startup that’s focused on radically improving the cancer experience with early and ongoing intervention. The Thyme Care team is committed to improving diversity and has several goals specifically dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. These include:
Ensuring their employee base, leadership, and board of directors are as diverse as the US accounting for race, sexuality, gender, age, and veteran status.
Reaching an "Inclusivity" score that is at or above benchmark for the company.
Deeply integrating DEI into every business function; every function has its own measurable DEI initiative.
“As such a young company, we’re very lucky to be able to build our practices from scratch. We’re looking at every program, process, policy, etc. through the lens of DEI,” said Manya Ellenberg, the VP of People at Thyme Care. “We’re constantly making small tweaks and iterations to smash biases because it's so important to our mission. We cannot reduce health disparities for our cancer population without first ensuring that we have a diverse group of teammates working together to reach our goal.”
Groundspeed is an Ann Arbor startup that uses AI and analytics to improve the insurance industry. The company has implemented significant improvements to their benefits packages as they continue to build a great people-first company. For their D&I initiatives, Groundspeed has expanded their benefits with a focus on programs that would help foster an inclusive culture.
Groundspeed's learning & development budget, internal training resources and an emphasis on promoting from within to allow folks from differing backgrounds a pathway into Engineering, Product, and Leadership.
Paid parental leave for both parents was implemented to remove unconscious biases that present themselves when companies offer gendered leave and to show respect for all types of family structures. Open PTO and flexible work schedules help offset challenges often placed on mothers.
They've also hired a FTE to lead the company's DEIB initiatives, and they bring in external presenters to educate the team on issues ranging from Unconscious Bias to LGBTQ+ Allyship in the workplace. ERGs like Women of Groundspeed and the newer LGBTQ+ Slack space help empower and make space for underrepresented employees. And they also invest in quarterly DEIB events.